Monday, February 16, 2009

Goose Island State Park


Sunrise over the pier at Goose Island State Park

The first trip that we took with our trusty little pop-up was to Goose Island State Park on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Now, this might just be the place that you would like to spend your winter months if your normal abode is somewhere up north. As a matter of fact a number of people with the "big rigs" were parked there for as long as they could possibly stay. Several of them mentioned that this is where they came every year. We found this out when people would stop and ask about our little pop-up or wonder what we were having for breakfast. They were attracted by the smell of bacon and onions cooking on the outside grill, and had to stop and say how good it smelled. They had just had their breakfast on the inside. I love our trusty little pop-up and cooking outside!

Camp site #126--Goose Island State Park

We found our little pop-up quite by accident. We were headed down I-35 towards Austin going to one of our grandson's football play-off games and Skip said, "Look, that's what we need." I agreed and on our way back the next day we stopped, and all of a sudden it was ours! It's an older model with an interesting history...seems a young girl lived in "trusty" while attending school at a nearby university. She and her St Bernard shared the living quarters until she graduated. It made an adequate apartment for a couple of years with plenty of room to sleep, a table at which to study and write, a small refrigerator and a small stove and sink. I'm assuming she must have parked somewhere near a place that had a bathroom. Anyway, "Trusty" had now changed hands and started on a new history.

The campsites at this park are exceptional. You have a choice of camping at the back of the park where the sites are beautifully surrounded with trees and shrubs. They are very spacious, quiet, secluded and private...plenty big enough for the "big rigs." No one should have trouble backing their camper into one of these spots. The back of the park is also home to many tent only sites. If you choose to be right on the Gulf of Mexico, they also have a number of open sites right on the water. These sites all have shelters, water, electricty and close neighbors. It's all a matter of choice. All of the sites (seculded, tent,open) are well maintained and have clean bathroom/showers nearby. I might also mention that although you are right on the can toss out a line and catch a fish from the fron of your campsite...there is no swimming here. The bottom of the Gulf at this point has an oyster shell bed. That means sharp and painful for bare body parts!

What Goose Island does have is BIRDS! Lots and lots of birds! it is a bird lovers paradise. I didn't know that I was a bird lover until I went to Goose Island. Of course I have always enjoyed birds, listening to their songs, watching them flit from tree to tree, but I had no idea about their names...mockingbird, cardinal, robin, sparrow...but that all changed after we went to Goose Island! Luckily I had binoculars and a camera in the pickup. Soon I had a book with pictures and names of birds. Now, I never go anywhere without that book.

White Pelicans waiting for the fishermen to toss their bait.

We arrived at Goose Island in January. That just happened to be a migratory time for a lot of birds. We took the trail to the front of the park, where the land meets the water, and were just in awe at the number of birds we had never seen before. Luckily for me, they were just getting a bird watching tour organized, and of course I joined the group. Skip chose to sit and observe the gulf and its inhabitants from a bench. He's not quite as excited about birds as I am. The tour was conducted by a couple from Chicago, and THEY KNEW THEIR BIRDS! They come to Goose Island every year and give two tours a day. And, they showed me so many beautiful birds. I saw: White Ibis, Ruddy Turnstone, Long Billed Dowitcher, Brown Pelicans, White Pelicans, Laughing Gulls, Herring Gulls, Long Billed Curlew, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Double Crested
Cormorant,Great Blue Herring, Tri-colored Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Pintail Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks. Those were just the ones I saw that one morning on the trek along the coastline and out onto the long pier (in the picture above). What a great morning! I only went that one day because we used Goose Island as our base of operations and during the day we visited other parts of the bay area.
Great Egret


  1. I love this one! That sunrise is one of my favorite pictures. And I really do like the larger text format. Better for MY old eyes!

  2. Thanks Linda! And a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. We were alerted to Goose Island through a happy new year e-mail from Quebecois friends of ours who wrote they were going to be there in January for a few days, before heading again into Mexico. Your post may just have made us decide to go to Goose Island as well, on our trip south, planned to start on Monday, after the latest forecast snow storm.

    Ellen and Richard Lacroix
    Arlington, Mass.

  3. Hi!
    I googled Goose Island State Park to get some information on the park, and saw your blog. It is very well done! :-) I will be going to Goose Island camping with my boyfriend and a group for the first time, and I am very excited about it! I am a bird and nature lover, loving the outdoors, so to hear so many great things about this park is wonderful! Your pictures are really good too! Thanks for sharing your experience on the web! :-) I plan on viewing your other trips as well! Happy camping! :-)

  4. This was one of my grandparents' favorite places to camp. They converted their truck and camper with beds, benches, stove, etc. Thank you for the nostalgia.